A scoring error in last weekend's Miss Florida pageant crowned the wrong winner, causing organizers to announce a new Miss Florida today in St. Petersburg, FOX 13 learned Friday.
Leesburg's Elizabeth Fechtel has been in the spotlight all week after her big moment. However, an independent review of scoring found they had erroneously tabulated the winner. Now they are instead awarding it to Victoria Cowen of Panama City.
"I'm overwhelmed," Cowen said. "I'm speechless. I'm beyond every imaginable emotion right now."
Pageant organizers announced the mistake Friday. They gave a statement to FOX 13 saying, in part:
"It was determined there was an error in the tabulation process that results in Elizabeth Fechtel being named as Miss Florida 2014. An independent review and audit of the scores awarded by the judges confirmed that Victoria was the actual recipient of the top overall score."
Fechtel was notified of the error Thursday at her home in Leesburg. She was not in St. Petersburg today when the crown was placed on Cowen's head.
Cowen said she was informed at midnight, so she hopped in a car and traveled to St. Petersburg.
The winner of the competition represents Florida in the prestigious Miss America pageant, held in September.
Originally reported by FOX 13 Tampa Bay: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/25889301/miss-florida-crowns-wrong-miss-florida